New agricultural measures for outermost regions and Aegean islands adopted by the Council

Following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament, the Council adopted regulations laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the EU and in the smaller Aegean islands. Among other things, a specific provision has been added to the regulation allowing a one-off payment of €40 millions in 2013 in order to allow the sector of banana production in outermost regions to adapt to the reduction of banana tariffs following the latest trade agreements.

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Report stressed the lack of harmonised reporting on oil and gas offshore accidents across the EU

The latest report published by the Joint Research Centre highlights the lack of harmonised reporting on oil and gas offshore accidents across the EU, and the poor access of information for researchers, consultants and the public. The statistical analysis also reveals that offshore accidents with severe and long-lasting consequences are not extremely rare events as initially thought, at least concerning failures, causes and chain of events.

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Commission launched two public consultations on EU measures to fight tax evasion

The European Commission launched two public consultations on specific measures which could improve tax collection - EU Tax Identification Number (EU TIN)- and ensure better tax compliance across the EU - the EU Taxpayer's Code. The consultations will run until 17 May 2013.

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EU Ministers discuss the draft directive on indirect land-use change

Ministers were invited to answer two questions raised by the presidency, one focussing on whether the draft directive adequately fulfils its objectives of addressing indirect land-use change emissions and encouraging the transition to advanced biofuels, and the second relating to its support for the achievement of the existing energy and climate change objectives in the EU.

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Germany, Poland and Italy are the largest trading partners of Ukraine amongst member states

Eurostat reported that EU international trade in goods with Ukraine grew strongly from 2000 to 2008, then fell sharply in 2009 before partially recovering between 2010 and 2012. In addition, the largest surpluses in trade with Ukraine in 2012 were observed in Germany and Poland, and the largest deficit in Spain. The figures are published on the occasion of the EU-Ukraine summit that takes place in Brussels on 25 February.

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